NEWS: Devereau to depart COI with efficiency measures in place

Agencies working on government campaigns are to face tighter budgets and more rigorous performance checks as Whitehall steps up its value-for- money offensive.

Agencies working on government campaigns are to face tighter budgets and

more rigorous performance checks as Whitehall steps up its value-for-

money offensive.



The plans were revealed by Mike Devereau, who departs this month after

seven years as chief executive of the Central Office of Information. He

said there would be more ‘measurement’ of campaigns to ensure their

target audience had been met.



Computer-based analysis of previous campaigns will soon enable the COI

to forecast the budgets needed for future work more accurately.



While Devereau did not rule out payment-by-results as a long-term

option, he insisted that was not the immediate aim. ‘What we are seeking

is a database to enable us to make the best-informed decisions,’ he

said. ‘I don’t see it as a great burden on the industry - it should help

agencies. It is something they can benefit from; I am surprised there is

not more of it in the industry.’



He acknowledged that the Government’s pressures on agencies had

increased in recent years and that there was a danger that the quality

of campaigns would suffer. ‘If you pay too little, you end up paying

again in lack of effectiveness,’ he said.



Devereau, 58, will be remembered by the COI’s 400 staff as the boss who

helped it survive Government reviews, although in a slimline form. ‘The

important thing is that COI has a future,’ he said.



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